Community Needs

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Multi color flame imageMany Jewish organizations in the Omaha metropolitan area, including the agencies of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, are seeking funding to deliver programs and services. The current funding needs for programs and services are described below.

Please contact Howard Epstein at 402-334-6466 or if you are interested in helping to fulfill a need in our Omaha Jewish community. If you have a donor-advised fund with us, please note the community need on your recommendation form and we will make sure it gets to the appropriate organization.

Anti-Defamation League/CRC –  PEW + No Place for Hate = End of the Year Rally = a year of anti-bias training for all schools that participate. 
ADL-CRC LogoADL's No Place for Hate® initiative provides an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions to create and maintain a positive school culture. ADL/CRC is looking for businesses that want to commit to a tzedakah box to collect for programming during the month of August, funding to expand the Prejudice Elimination Workshop to middle school and funding for the pep rally for all participating schools.

Anti-Defamation League/CRC - Unity Against Hate
The ADL/CRC seeks funding to address the issues surrounding white supremacy within our community, state, and country.  The ADL/CRC understands the need to become a unifier that leads to Grassroots Mobilization around the these issues.  The ADL/CRC has the ability to arm our community with the tools to respond to our current situation.  As ADL/CRC provides the opportunity for convening, ADL/CRC needs to engage and develop a foundational level of understanding about the current situation, discuss the power of speaking with one voice and what that will look like, provide community training and a forum for engagement. 

Anti-Defamation League/CRC - Words to Action
ADL’s “Words to Action” Program empowers students to address anti-Semitism, anti-Israel and anti-Zionism when it becomes an issue in their lives. ADL/CRC is looking for funding to support continued programming with college and high school students.

Beth El Synagogue – Youth Scholarship Concert
Beth El Synagogue LogoIn 2016, more than 25 of our youth attended Jewish summer camps or took a trip to Israel. We sponsor an annual Youth Scholarship Concert to raise funds for families to help defray the expense of these Jewish summer experiences.  As the number of children interested in Jewish summer experiences increases, so does our need for additional funding.  In order to continue to provide for our children, we need to attract an audience to our Scholarship Concert by both providing quality entertainment and at the same time reducing our expenses so more money is available for scholarships.   We are asking for $3,000 to help offset costs associated with the concert.

Chabad Lubavitch of Nebraska - Security System
Chabad LogoIn light of recent world events, Chabad is committed to honing our security measures. We would like to take the necessary steps to bolster the safety of our facility. This will include upgraded cameras, computer software, and hiring of security personnel, among other measures as needed. $9,000.

Chabad Lubavitch of Nebraska - University Activities
Chabad offers programs and activities to university students across this state. In these formative critical years of a college student, there is an opportunity to strengthen his or her Jewish identity. We coordinate with Hillel and private campus groups. These efforts have, for many years, nurtured and motivated students to become more active in their respective Jewish communities. $3,000.

Friedel Jewish Academy - Resource Teacher
Friedel LogoThe Resource Teacher at Friedel Jewish Academy works as part of a team with the classroom teacher and parents to improve the skill level of individual students in the subject areas of reading, language arts and math. The resource teacher provides the extra support needed by special needs students, both in their classrooms and in supplementing instruction through individualized attention and differentiated instruction. ($7,000 annually)

Friedel Jewish Academy - Fine Arts Program
Friedel Jewish Academy is requesting funds for our fine arts program.  The program at Friedel includes music instruction and art education.  The two programs are an important part of Friedel’s effort to provide our students a variety of meaningful fine arts experiences.  The funds will be used for hiring quality instructors, for required materials, and for providing instruments for those families who cannot afford them.
The goals of the fine arts education program at Friedel are:

  • To expose our students to fine arts through instrumental music and visual arts education
  • To develop in our students a lifelong appreciation of music and art
  • To provide students the opportunity to develop skills that will benefit them over their lifetime      

Research shows the great benefits to children who are part of music and art education programs by building their spatial intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. ($15,000 annually)

Institute for Holocaust Education - Classroom Set of Books
IHE LogoAt the IHE, they often hear about teachers having to pay out of their own pockets to buy a set of Holocaust-related books/novels for their classroom. To help with this problem, the IHE would like to purchase "classroom sets" (i.e. 30 copies) of some of the more popular and educationally sound books, for schools to borrow. The books range in price from $6-$15 per copy, and the IHE is seeking a total of $900 for this purpose.

Jewish Family Service - Yachad Program
Jewish Family ServiceContinued financial support is necessary to operate this program for the Differently Abled adult members of our community. Our program goals are to provide as much community inclusion as possible and programming to promote increased independence. The annual cost of the program is $36,780. Approximately 30% of this budget is covered through the Federation Allocation to Jewish Family Service. The remaining program expenses are paid for through individual donations and grants.

Jewish Family Service - Handicapped Accessibility into JFS
With an increasing number of people seeking services at JFS who have a handicapping condition, wheelchair or otherwise; JFS would love to be able to provide the same customer service experience to all of our clients. This would include expanding our waiting room bathroom to be handicapped accessible and to adjust our waiting room, office check-in window, by lowering the counter space. JFS is pleased to report that in 2015, the Campus Construction funds paid for one handicapped parking stall by JFS, a ramp to the sidewalk and entrance to JFS and a handicapped sign for the parking space. Help us do the rest to make JFS a welcoming environment for all.

Jewish Senior Outreach - Kosher Meals on Wheels
Jewish Social Services LogoThe Meals on Wheels program through Jewish Senior Outreach (JSO) is an ongoing program providing home delivered Kosher meals to elder community members.  Over the past year, we have delivered over 9,000 meals to approximately 63 seniors.  For some, this is an ongoing service that allows them to stay in their homes while meeting nutritional and religious needs.  For others—the meals are a temporary intervention after a hospitalization, rehabilitative stay or while a caregiver is unavailable to provide for them.  These hot meals are brought daily by a trusted JSO staff person who not only makes the delivery, but is able to notify family members or a community professional if additional help is needed.
This is a basic and vital service for our most in-need community members, many of whom would not be able to remain in their own homes or would be at risk for an undetected decline.
There are also seniors in the community that order the Meals on Wheels through the winter months when it is more difficult for them to get out safely or during the Passover holiday to meet religious observance. ($5,000 - $10,000)

Jewish Senior Outreach - Older Adult Case Management
Jewish Senior Outreach (JSO) is available and responsive to our community’s elderly and their families when needed.  JSO helps seniors improve their quality of life in order for them to increase their overall level of functioning (i.e. remain living in an independent situation with proper nutrition, safety precautions in place, home care referrals and financial assistance if needed), all the while maintaining a connection to the Jewish community for spiritual and cultural support.  Jewish Senior Outreach is an important piece in connecting seniors in the Jewish community to a professional that is familiar with and qualified to meet physical, psychological, cultural and spiritual needs. Home visits and ongoing contact provide elders the needed support to maintain their independence as long as possible.  A relationship is built that is sustained over time. Both the community elder and their families count on the Outreach social worker to be a trusted partner. ($5,000 - $10,000)

Nebraska Jewish Historical Society - Community Programs
NJHS LogoThe Nebraska Jewish Historical Society is constantly seeking ways to better promote and preserve the histories of Jewish families who settled in Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. NJHS is seeking funds to provide community programs. These programs can be exhibits, issuing publications or related educational and cultural activities. The cost of NJHS programing depends on the story told and the media chosen. The cost of exhibits can vary depending on funding but generally, the minimum cost is $5000. The cost of an edition of the popular NJHS Memories of the Jewish Midwest changes periodically. If interested, please contact NJHS for current pricing.

Temple Israel
Temple IsraelTemple Israel Religious School is in the process of planning a congregation/community wide multi-generational retreat. This two day event will provide opportunities for learning, community building, and spirituality. It will take place at the Lied Center near Nebraska City. We anticipate this program to be held in the spring of 2016, and we need to provide funds to secure a scholar-in-residence and a retreat center. The overall goal of the program is to build relationships among our congregants and community participants, relationships with our clergy and program staff and a deeper sense of belonging to the community. ($1,000)